Connect with us

     

Aviation

First class travel booms in Nigeria amid global decline

Published

on

First class travel booms in Nigeria amid global decline

First Class travel is disappearing at a worrying rate. But in Nigeria, it is gaining strength, further typifying the craze by wealthy Nigerians to force carriers to retain the status symbol. In other climes, many travellers are shifting to Business Class, writes WOLE SHADARE     The changing times If you’re keen to fly first class, good luck in finding a seat. Across the board, first class has been steadily disappearing from commercial jets. In the long haul market, the majority of the big names have substantially reduced the number of first class seats on board, often by several hundred thousand. But the situation is different on the Nigerian market where majority of super rich Nigerians prefer to travel in class. They prefer First Class travel to match their status. These super rich are in government, banking sector, aviation, academia, oil and gas and other sectors of the economy. Foreign airlines see Nigeria as a very big market for premium travel. The revenue they rake in from First Class and Business are enough to sustain their operations even without the economic travel revenue. Majority are of the opinion that foreign airlines or any other airline would break even and remain profitable if they get the First and Business class seats filled without passengers in the economy class cabin. Huge load factor Foreign airlines operating into Nigeria have an average of 80 per cent load factor in their premium cabin. For this reason, the carriers keep expanding and marketing these premium cabins because they know that Nigeria would pay any amount to travel in first class. The only time there was a lull in First/Business class was during the recession crisis three years ago. Nigerian aviation industry, which suffered from relatively low patronage due largely to softer demand in the wake of the recession the country entered into, is picking up very fast. In the height of the recession, personal travels fell drastically, as average purchasing power dropped abysmally vis-a-vis rising cost of tickets. However, business travel continued to drive air passenger traffic across the country. Analysts adduced high operational costs as cause of the increased ticket fares, saying that aviation fuel accounts for about 40 percent of operational costs. Industry sources indicate that the price of aviation fuel currently stands at N265/l. British carrier, British Airways has consistently operated super jumbo B747-400 to Lagos from London. The aircraft type helps the airline to maximise its hold on the premium class market in Nigeria. Most Nigerians love to fly in B747 because of the space it offers customers. It is so built in a way that makes them feel like they are in their homes. Despite the fact that the B747 is considered as fuel guzzler because of its four engines and other avionics, the airline has continued to operate it. The writer, who recently flew on BA’s B747, KLM’s A330, Air France’s A330 and Virgin Atlantic’s A330 to London, Amsterdam and Toulouse respectively, observed that the First/Business Class cabins were virtually filled up mostly by Nigeria’s super rich. The same happens in the premium cabins Emirates, Delta, Qatar, Etihad, Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish, among other big airlines. Not a few felt that Nigeria would have floated her own airline to take huge advantage of this premium class market or aviation as a whole. The country’s flag carrier airlines are not serious and have not shown any seriousness to tap into the huge aviation market. That may have lent credence to the support for the Federal Government to float a national carrier amid opposition from domestic airlines that had shown on several occasions that they are weak, small and fragmented to compete with the least airline operating into Nigeria. The sector is daily confronted with their agitation for one favour or the order from government forgetting that they need to show seriousness and commitment on how to do business with sound corporate governance, which they lack. Gradual disappearance In other climes across the board, first class has been steadily disappearing from commercial jets. In the long haul market, majority of the big names have substantially reduced the number of first class seats on board, often by several hundred thousand. The premium market disrupted itself when BA launched a lie flat seat in – shock horror – the business class cabin. This was around the year 2000 and since then pretty much every other major carrier has followed suit. This has made business class much more attractive, but at the same time, has devalued the offering of First. For example, British Airways in 2008 had around 560,000 first class seats across its fleet. By 2018, it had almost 100,000 less. Delta, in 2008, offered almost 400,000 first class seats. Now, they have just over 200,000. For United, 10 years ago, there were around 380,000 first class seats. Today, that number is around 180,000. Singapore, although less marked, the past decade has seen first class reduce from 150,000 to just over 90,000. Of course, there’s always an exception to the rule, and in this cas, it’s Emirates. In 2018, the Dubaibased carrier had around 310,000 first class seats available. Last year, this number had grown to over 600,000. Stimulating change If the demand for first class were there, airlines would provide it. So, it’s the passengers who are stimulating this change. Aren’t they demanding first class because the product is just not good anymore? A travel expert who pleaded anonymity said not at all, adding, “In fact, first class today is far better than anything we saw 10 years ago. Emirates’ A380 jumbos come complete with inflight showers, not to mention bars and lounges for the most privileged of passengers.” Maybe there aren’t enough wealthy people? But that’s not true either. According to Forbes, the stock of billionaires in the world has doubled to more than 2,100 in the past 10 years alone. Luxury travel is booming; five star hotels and resorts in Asia are expected to increase by over 150 per cent in the next 10 years. Despite these, the capacity for first class around the world has reduced substantially. And predictions for the future of first class don’t bode well. The verdict Analysts are predicting that, in less than 10 years, there won’t really be a first class any more. In the US, it’s already an endangered specie. Ten years ago, almost all of the hundreds of long haul aircraft would have had a first class cabin on board. Now, there are only around 20. Elsewhere, Air New Zealand and Turkish Airlines have scrapped first class completely and even British Airways, once the most well-known purveyor of luxury travel, have eliminated first class from their newest aircraft. Last line But if first class does disappear, won’t it present airlines with something of a problem? Emirates claim that first and business class make up around 12 per cent of the seats on their flights, but that they generate around 40 per cent of the revenue.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Aviation

S’African Airways shunned by insurers as financial doubts grow

Published

on

S’African Airways shunned by insurers as financial doubts grow

Two big travel insurance companies in South Africa have stopped covering tickets issued by South African Airways (SAA) against insolvency as doubts grow about whether the struggling state-owned airline can survive.

While the move is unlikely to push SAA into liquidation by itself, it will hurt ticket sales and exacerbate a cash crunch that left the airline unable to pay salaries on time this month, analysts said.

SAA has not made a profit since 2011 and has been struggling with an unprofitable network, inefficient planes and a bloated workforce, despite bailouts of more than 20 billion rand ($1.4 billion) over the past three years, reports Reuters.

Its financial position worsened dramatically after Nov. 15, when two of its largest unions began an eight-day strike over pay that forced SAA to cancel hundreds of flights.

Banks want additional guarantees from the state before they lend SAA more money but Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has refused, leaving the airline’s finances on a knife edge.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan still wants to save SAA, which says it needs to more than 2 billion rand ($136 million) quickly to stay afloat.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has stayed out of the tussle so far but the longer Mboweni refuses to sign off on guarantees, the more likely it is that SAA will shut down – an outcome an SAA board member said last week was a possibility.

Santam’s Travel Insurance Consultants (TIC) said this week it had stopped its travel supplier insolvency benefit for SAA flights then Australian agency Flight Centre Travel Group said it would stop selling SAA tickets.

The company that administers Hollard Travel Insurance told Reuters on Friday it had also excluded SAA from its travel supplier insolvency coverage, citing the airline’s finances.

Bryte Insurance’s head of travel Anrieth Symon said on Friday it had reversed its position on SAA and would cover its flights against insolvency.

SAA spokesman Tlali Tlali declined to comment when called by Reuters on Friday and did not respond to emailed questions.

Neither Mboweni’s spokeswoman nor Gordhan’s spokesman answered their phones when called by Reuters.

‘ALL OPTIONS’

SAA said in a memo to staff on Friday seen by Reuters that its board and executives were in intense discussions with the government and that the airline’s leaders were exploring “all options regarding SAA’s future”.

Guy Leitch, an aviation analyst who edits the SA Flyer magazine, said the decisions by the insurers and Flight Centre to drop the airline were hugely significant.

“No one managing SAA, from Minister Gordhan downwards, anticipated the flight of confidence that the strike would have,” Leitch said.

In a letter to clients dated November 28, Flight Centre said its preferred travel insurance provider was no longer willing to cover SAA due to doubts about its long-term viability.

TIC said its reinsurers had instructed it to exclude SAA from its insolvency coverage. It did not disclose the names of its reinsurers.

Ramaphosa’s government has taken a harder line on SAA recently, saying repeated bailouts must come to an end. He is trying to preserve the country’s last investment-grade credit rating and revive growth in Africa’s second-biggest economy.

South Africa’s sovereign debt is rated “junk” by S&P Global and Fitch Ratings but Moody’s still ranks it as investment grade, helping to prevent a spike in borrowing costs typically sparked by a downgrade from all three agencies.

Leitch said SAA’s liabilities exceeded its assets by a huge amount and the recent loss of confidence in the airline would force the government to decide whether to rescue it.

 “This is a high-stakes game.”

Continue Reading

Aviation

BA flight heading to Abuja loses engine mid-air

Published

on

BA flight heading to Abuja loses engine mid-air

…Returns to Heathrow

A British Airways flight heading to Abuja from London on Tuesday returned to Heathrow Airport after the plane lost one of its engines mid-air.

The airline confirmed that BA 083 flight returned to Heathrow and was met by the emergency services as a precaution measure after what it called “a minor technical issue.”

In a mail sent to THISDAY, the airline said, “For your information, the aircraft experienced a minor technical issue and our pilots elected to return to Heathrow. In terms of the emergency services meeting the aircraft, this is standard practice.

“Our aircraft returned to Heathrow and was met by the emergency services as a precaution after experiencing a minor technical issue. Our teams looked after our customers last night, providing them with overnight accommodation. We’re sorry to our customers for the delay to their travel plans. (sic)”

Continue Reading

Aviation

Air rage: Coping with unruly passengers

Published

on

Air rage: Coping with unruly passengers

Indeed, air rage has become a global problem. Such unruly behaviour threatens safety and security, adversely affects travel experience of compliant passengers, and disrupts operations that may result in flight delays, cancellations or diversions, writes WOLE SHADARE

 

 

Alarming statistics

The global statistics for unruly passengers is alarming. Before proceeding, there is need to look at global statistics on unruly passengers and the work the industry is doing to prevent incidents and to ensure a stronger international legal deterrent. The 2017 global statistics comes from reports submitted by airlines to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) STEAD database. Not every airline is a member of IATA and not every member of IATA submits data. So, it is likely that the statistics significantly underestimate the extent of the issue. Assistant Director, External Affairs, IATA, Tim Colehan, at the IATA Media Day held in Geneva, Switzerland, said when they look at the incident rate, there was one incident every 1, 053 flights in 2017, adding that this means the frequency of reported incidents has increased versus 2016 where there was an incident every 1, 424 sectors.

According to IATA, there were 8, 731 reports in 2017, which is a reduction of 1, 106 versus the previous year. He stated that the total number of reports submitted could be affected by changes in the number of airlines submitting data to Safety Trend Evaluation, Analysis and Data Exchange System (STEADS). For example, some airlines change their reporting systems during the year and so may not submit data. According to him, “when we look at the intoxication, we see that 562 out of the 2, 454 relate to consumption of own alcohol-for example duty free brought on to the aircraft. We know that the remaining amount relates to mostly to alcohol consumed prior to boarding. “So, what we can conclude from these figures? Well, they show that unruly passenger incidents remain a significant issue. We know that they are committed by a tiny minority of our customers, but like we heard in the example I gave at the start, they have disproportionate impacts on other passengers, crew and the operation.”

 

Resolution

IATA members agreed a resolution in 2014, which set out the strategy and approach-one element of that work with other stakeholders to try and improve prevention and to share best practices internationally. One market, which has seen a significant rise in reported incidents, is the United Kingdom. In the period 2013-2017, there was a 325 per cent increase, with alcohol intoxication identified as a trigger in many of these cases. Many of the cases were focused in the key summer months and on flights to particular destinations. The UK Air Navigation Order already makes it illegal to board an aircraft when drunk or to be drunk when onboard. The penalties are a GBP5,000 fine or two years in prison. But the industry itself has been proactive in trying to prevent incidents. IATA said it was part of a10-week government-endorsed public information campaign called, ‘One Too Many” during summer 2018 that aimed to raise awareness of the need to fly responsibly,

 

Flight diversion

No one knows how many unruly passengers cause flight diversions each year or how many are ordered to pay restitution. However, in some of the most egregious incidents, unruly passengers can face large financial restitution penalties. The fines carry a dual purpose. They help airlines recoup the cost when a flight is cut short and serve as a deterrent to others to think twice before behaving badly on a flight. Unruly passengers have been a problem airlines have grappled with for decades. But in an era with increased focus on safety and security, tighter seating and packed planes, the airline industry feels a sense of urgency to identify potential problems and prevent incidents. The restitution penalties are federal prosecutors’ efforts to put a dent in the problem.

Pay the fine

In a case in July 2018, passenger Bolutife Olusegun Olorunda was ordered to pay Delta Air Lines $9,118 for the cost of a diversion to Tulsa after he verbally assaulted a flight attendant on his flight from Portland, Ore to Atlanta. The issue of misbehavior in the air has gained greater focus in recent years, with IATA pushing for countries to adopt a global legal framework and enforcement policy for unruly passengers, since gaps in governance can mean some people are never punished for misconduct. Association of Flight Attendants union spokeswoman Taylor Garland said a lot of people take prescription drugs to feel more comfortable flying, and they don’t realize the [different] effect that alcohol or drugs can have when you’re up in the air. If an issue with one problematic passenger isn’t tackled quickly, it could escalate into a conflict involving more people and become “a much bigger incident,” Garland said — which is why the captain may decide to divert.

Last line

Globally, airlines are doing their bit to control the menace. Some airlines had requested airports to limit customers to two-drinks before boarding flights and not to serve alcohol in the airport before 10 am. But aviation experts aver imparting and upgrading training to cabin crew and airline staff is the only way out.

Continue Reading

Aviation

Qantas urges rapper will.i.am to withdraw racism accusation against staffer

Published

on

Qantas urges rapper will.i.am to withdraw racism accusation against staffer

Australia’s flagship airline, Qantas, said on Monday it stood ready to offer legal assistance to a member of its flight crew named in a racism accusation by Black Eyed Peas rapper will.i.am on social media.

The U.S. singer had taken a flight about 1-1/2-hours long to Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, from northeastern Brisbane to play at a concert on Saturday, but was met by Australian federal police at the arrival gate.

He said on Twitter he was racially targeted by an airline attendant, whom he identified by name, after failing to put away his laptop as the flight prepared to land, because he had put on noise-cancelling headphones to “make beats”.

Qantas, which called the incident a “misunderstanding”, has requested the rapper to retract his statement, reports Reuters.

“Absent a retraction, and if the crew member wanted to take the matter further, we’d certainly be willing to provide legal support for them to do this,” a spokesman told Reuters in a statement.

Police confirmed they spoke to crew and passengers at the airport, but said no further action was required. “The Australian Federal Police considers this matter finalised,” they said in a statement.

On Saturday, will.i.am said in a post on Twitter, “Is calling the police on a passenger for not hearing (the) P.A. due to wearing noise-canceling headphones appropriate?”

He added, “If didn’t put away my laptop ‘in a rapid 2min time’ I’d understand. I did comply quickly & politely, only to be greeted by police. I think I was targeted.”

As of Monday, will.i.am had not made any retraction on social media, even as other commenters pointed out that the crew member he identified had received threats on social media as a result.

He pointed out that if he were rude to a fan or journalist, he would be publicly named.

“This is what Twitter is for…we are supposed to call out wrongdoings so we can have a safer, more compassionate world,” will.i.am said.

Reuters was not able to contact the rapper through his agency, and he did not immediately respond to a request for comment on social media.

Continue Reading

Aviation

Last remains of Ethiopian plane crash victims buried, families say little notice given

Published

on

Last remains of Ethiopian plane crash victims buried, families say little notice given

The last remains of 157 people killed aboard an Ethiopian Airlines plane in March were interred at the crash site, farmers and families told Reuters, but some relatives were upset they had been unable to take part in the ceremony.

Nadia Milleron, whose daughter Samya Stumo was killed, said an email was sent to some families — but not all — notifying them of the burial just two days before it happened.

“By the time the burial took place I was just wiped out; I was just glad they were doing it. I was tired of it not being done,” said Milleron. “But a lot of people didn’t feel like that. They hadn’t been aware of what was happening.”

Ethiopian Airlines did not return calls seeking comment about why some families were not told in advance.

Families have been begging the airline to fill in the crater left by the March 10 crash, which still contained remains too small to be recovered.

Milleron said on Saturday that locals had been burying remains exposed by rains in small mounds of earth. She herself found a bone at the site when she visited Ethiopia to collect her daughter’s remains in October, which she told the airline about in an email.

The force of the impact meant no complete bodies were recovered; partial remains were tested for DNA and finally returned to families last month.

As the burial took place on Thursday, a U.S. embassy representative present kept Milleron updated by text: “Now they’re laying the coffins down, now they’re putting earth on them …”

“I became a blubbering mess,” she said.

Milleron said the lack of notice of the burial ceremony had raised tensions between the families and Ethiopian Airlines.

“We are looking into taking legal action against EA – not of course to exhume and re-organise the burial, that’s done – but to make sure we secure a leading role in planning for a future memorial,” said Adrian Toole, a British father whose daughter Joanna was aboard the plane.

“EA are clearly on a corporate strategy to ‘tidy up’ the remaining issues so as to get the whole episode out of the public eye.”

Representatives of the airline and of Boeing and some embassy employees were there. The Boeing representatives were on a prearranged trip to discuss community projects, Milleron said.

Boeing manufactured the 737 MAX 8 plane, which nosedived shortly after take-off. A preliminary investigation pointed to a malfunctioning anti-stall system known as MCAS, which was also implicated in the crash of a Lion Air plane in Indonesia five months earlier. All 189 people onboard that flight were killed.

Tesfaye Mulatu, a farmer near the crash site, said he had seen a helicopter arrive and cars bring caskets on Thursday. The crater left by the impact has been filled in, he said.

“Now, the area looks a football field,” he told Reuters by telephone.

Some bereaved families have formed associations and hope to use funds from Boeing to build a memorial. The manufacturer will make $100 million available, with half going to families and half to projects in local communities.

“We continue to offer our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610 and we are committed to helping those affected by these tragedies,” Boeing spokesman Chaz Bickers said.

Continue Reading

Aviation

SAA workers start strike that could cripple airline

Published

on

SAA workers start strike that could cripple airline

Workers at South African Airways (SAA) downed tools on Friday in a strike over wages and job cuts that has forced the troubled state-owned carrier to cancel all flights and left its future hanging in the balance.

SAA, which has not turned a profit since 2011 and is without a permanent CEO, says the strike by unions representing around 3,000 of its 5,000-strong workforce will cost it 50 million rand ($3.36 million) per day and threatens its survival.

The unions rejected SAA’s wage offer late on Thursday, and are also striking over the carrier’s plans to cut more than 900 jobs in a bid to stem financial losses and become viable without the state bailouts it has relied on so far, reports Reuters.

SAA’s acting chief financial officer, Deon Fredericks, told the eNCA news channel that the airline, hurt by past mismanagement, could not just close its eyes and carry on.

“We’ll just go deeper down,” he said.

SAA is trying to negotiate much-needed funding from banks, Fredericks told radio station 702, but added the strike would hurt the talks as it would have a negative impact on cash flow. “If we don’t get that funding we will not be able to continue.”

The National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) called the SAA strike from 0200 GMT on Friday. NUMSA has said it will continue until the unions’ demands, including for an 8% wage increase and job security, are met.

The action is not an attempt to hurt the airline but force the government to intervene so its board and management make the right decisions, SACCA President Zazi Nsibanyoni-Mugambi said.

“In our eyes this is an attempt to save (SAA) from its current management and board,” she told 702 on Friday.

Two other unions at SAA representing about 2,500 employees mostly in technical and mid-management jobs said they would go to the labour court to block the airline’s plan to cut jobs.

SAA, which cancelled all flights on Saturday, is among a number of state-run firms that are battling tough financial conditions after years of poor governance and so-called ‘state capture’ – widespread corruption involving billions of rands worth of state contracts during Jacob Zuma’s presidency.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has staked his reputation on turning them around.

Continue Reading

Aviation

Direct Qantas flight completes non-stop journey from London to Sydney

Published

on

Direct Qantas flight completes non-stop journey from London to Sydney

A non-stop flight from London to Sydney has landed, 19 hours and 19 minutes after take-off.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is believed to have set a long-distance record for a passenger jet, reports standard.co.uk.

It left Heathrow around 6am (local time) on Thursday and touching down at Sydney Airport at 12:28pm on Friday (1.30am UK time).

The flight was conducted to research the effects on crew and passengers of ultra-long-haul services which are under consideration by the airline.

It was carrying 40 people, many of them Qantas staffers.

Those on board witnessed two sunrises, the first to the right of the aircraft as it headed north-east after takeoff, and the second to its left as it flew over Indonesia.

Aside from research, the flight kicked off a year of celebrations for the centenary of the airline, which will officially turn 99 on Saturday.

Qantas Chairman, Richard Goyder said the flight continued the airline’s history of helping Australia engage with the rest of the world.

“Qantas is a national icon because it’s been such a big part of Australian life for so long,” Goyder said in a statement.

“Our founders talked about overcoming the tyranny of distance and through the years we’ve moved from bi-planes, to single wing, to jets to help bring things closer.”

Continue Reading

Aviation

S’African Airways cancels flights, offers striking employees new wage increase

Published

on

S’African Airways cancels flights, offers striking employees new wage increase

South African Airways (SAA) has canceled flights scheduled for Friday and Saturday because of a pending strike by a majority of employees but said on Thursday it hoped its revised wage offer would avert the walkout at the state-run carrier.

SAA has failed to turn a profit since 2011 while relying on state bailouts to fund a growing financing gap.

The airline is also without a permanent chief executive and has yet to file annual results for the two most recent financial years because of concerns about its viability as a business, reports Reuters.

Unions representing about 3,000 of its 5,000-member workforce said on Wednesday that cabin crew and other workers would strike over wages and plans to the cut more than 900 jobs.

The carrier said on Wednesday it might never recover if the strike went ahead.

Unions are demanding an immediate 8% increase, and on Thursday SAA after late night negotiations said it would offer a 5.9% raise from April when it hopes to have secured the necessary funding.

“The increase is not immediately available. We can only implement it once we have secured funding,” SAA spokesman Tlali Tlali said during a live interview on television news channel eNCA.

“We have a meeting scheduled for today at 2 o’clock and we are hopeful we will be able to resolve the issue … It will include all the unions … and if the meeting yields positive results we will then activate some contingency plans that will allow us to reinstate flights,” said Tlali.

Only flights directly operated by SAA would be affected. Flights by subsidiaries Mango, SA Express and SA Air Link, as well as those of private operators, would not be affected, SAA said.

The airline said it expected unions to respond at an emergency meeting at 1200 GMT.

Unions said the strike would begin at 4 a.m. (0200 GMT) on Friday and go on indefinitely. They are calling on SAA’s check-in, ticket sales, head office, technical staff and ground staff to take part.

Zazi Nsibanyoni-Mugambi, president of the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) that is leading the strike with the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), said the offer was unacceptable.

“They really need to get serious, 5.9% simply won’t cut it. It’s just over 1% more that we are asking for and we think its attainable, so last night we asked SAA (negotiators) to go and get a fresh mandate from management,” said Nsibanyoni-Mugambi.

Numsa spokeswoman Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said the union was still consulting its members on whether to accept or reject the revised wage offer.

SAA airline flies around 6.8 million passengers annually to six continents with routes to New York, London and Hong Kong among its eight international offerings.

Continue Reading

Aviation

Qantas flight from London to Sydney with no stops takes off

Published

on

Qantas flight from London to Sydney with no stops takes off

A Qantas aeroplane has set off on an ultra-long haul flight from London to Sydney as part of a trial for a potential commercial route.

The test flight, as part of Qantas’s Project Sunrise, will see a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner carry just 40 people – including crew – to the other side of the world in approximately 19 hours.

The flight was scheduled to leave London at 6am and arrive into Sydney around lunchtime on Friday, a Qantas spokesman said.

A Dreamliner can usually carry between 230 and 300 people, depending on its interior set-up, reports metro.co.uk.

Currently it is impossible to fly an aeroplane at full capacity of both passengers and cargo from cities on the east coast of Australia to London without stopping to refuel.

It is possible to fly non-stop from London to the city of Perth in Western Australia as it is 1,600 miles closer.

Despite vowing to slash carbon emissions and reach net zero by 2050, the Australian airline is testing the viability of the London to Sydney route as a regular commercial flight.

The airline said all carbon emissions from Thursday’s take-off will be fully offset.

Those on board will be mostly Qantas employees and will be fitted with monitors to track their sleep patterns, food and drink intake, lighting, physical movement and in-flight entertainment.

The data will be assessed by researchers from the Charles Perkins Centre – a medical institute at the University of Sydney – to assess the impact of the flight on their health, wellbeing and body clock.

A team from Melbourne’s Monash University will work with pilots and crew to monitor melatonin levels before, during and after the flight. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates sleep cycles.

Pilots will wear a device that tracks brainwave patterns and monitors alertness, Qantas said, to gather data on the best work and rest patterns for long-haul services.

The airline said the data on crew wellbeing and alertness will be shared with Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority to inform future regulations for ultra-long haul flights.

Qantas will also gather general feedback from passengers on food choices, stretching and wellbeing zones and in-flight entertainment.

The airline’s Chief Executive Alan Joyce said previously: “Ultra-long haul flying presents a lot of common sense questions about the comfort and wellbeing of passengers and crew.

“These flights are going to provide invaluable data to help answer them.”

It will be the second aircraft to fly the route non-stop – the first touched down in August 1989.

Qantas did fly a Dreamliner non-stop from New York to Sydney last month as part of Project Sunrise, although the route is around 1,000 miles shorter.

It is due to make a final decision on the viability of Project Sunrise as a commercial flight route by the end of the year.

Continue Reading

Aviation

SAfrican Airways workers to go on strike Friday

Published

on

SAfrican Airways workers to go on strike Friday

Cabin crew and other workers at South African Airways (SAA) will go on strike on Friday over the struggling state airline’s plan to cut more than 900 jobs, unions said on Wednesday.

“We are left with no choice but to resort to this drastic action by withdrawing our labour and going on strike,” Zazi Nsibanyoni-Anyiam, president of the South African Cabin Crew Association, told a joint press briefing with the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA), reports Reuters.

The strike would continue indefinitely, the unions said.

SAA said on Tuesday it could cut more than 900 jobs as it restructures to stem severe financial losses.

Continue Reading

Categories

Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

ABUJA MAN REVEALS (FREE) SECRET FRUITS THAT INCREASED MANHOOD AND LASTING POWER IN 7DAYS

 

… CLICK HERE TO GET IT!

 

 

 

BUA Adverts

Trending

%d bloggers like this: